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7 tips for baking the best cookies at home

Kowalski's Culinary Director Rachael Perron offers tips that work for both homemade and store-bought cookie dough.

The secret to baking great cookies isn't just hidden in the recipe.

Kowalski's Culinary Director Rachael Perron says a number of factors influence baking success, from oven temperature and cookie size to the type of pan you use.

Perron offered up these seven tips, which works for both homemade and store-bought cookie dough:

  1. Be sure to preheat your oven completely.
  2. Make all of the cookies the same size so they'll bake evenly.
  3. Space the cookies evenly on the baking sheet, and be sure to leave the proper amount of space between cookies as directed by the recipe.
  4. Baking pans without sides (sometimes fittingly called cookie sheets) will bake more evenly. Insulated sheet pans are ideal for preventing thin or delicate cookies from browning too quickly.
  5. For best results, bake pans of cookies one pan at a time and rotate them halfway through.
  6. If a time range is given, start checking with the shorter end of the time range.
  7. Unless directed otherwise in the recipe, let cookies cool on the pan until set before moving cookies to a baking rack to cool.

Perron also shared her recipe of Monster Cookies:

MONSTER COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup M&M candies (or chopped M&Ms)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels
  • 1 ½ cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; set aside. In an electric mixer, beat butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg, yolk and vanilla; beat just until well combined. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just until flour is no longer visible. Fold in candy, oats, pretzels and chocolate chips by hand. Drop 24 evenly sized rounded spoonfuls (or use a #40 cookie scoop) 2" apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake pans one at a time in a preheated 350° oven for 7 min.; press dough down slightly with the back of a soup spoon and rotate pan 180°. Bake cookies 3-5 min. more until just barely set and slightly puffy. Remove from oven and cool on pans for 2 min.; move to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 24 cookies.

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